Dade County was created on Christmas Day 1837. The date of the construction of the first courthouse is unknown, but it burned in April 1853. Soon replaced, it, too was victim to fire, this time at the hands of Union troops in November 1863. The next courthouse was built in 1869 and accounts of its demise are unclear. One source states that it burned in 1895, while another notes that was demolished when the present courthouse was built.
Due to its geographical isolation from the rest of Georgia, Dade County was sometimes noted for its separatist views. It was long believed that a group of impatient Dade County citizens publicly announced their secession from both Georgia and the United States, in 1860; in reality, they seceded with the rest of the state. But the legend of the “State of Dade” was born. In 1945, President Truman even sent a telegram congratulating the county on “rejoining” the Union. When the Georgia state quarter was issued in 1999, the controversy was briefly revisited. The map on the quarter was missing its extreme northwestern corner, which is the location of Dade County.
National Register of Historic Places